BURN PILE: African-American History Month and President's Day. Irony much?

In honor of Black History Month and a day before President’s Day, let’s focus on the African American contribution to art and literature and not talk about the President, shall we? First up, the NAACP Image Awards have announced their 2019 nominees, with Black Panther dominating the competition. A good way to spend President’s Day might be watching it or one of the many other titles on the list of nominees. 

Meanwhile, The New York Times recognizes the life and work of Dudley Randall, who started the Broadside Press out of his home to publish the work of black writers and poets, who couldn’t be published elsewhere, as part of Detroit’s Black Arts Movement. 

And over at Poetry Foundation, Morgan Jenkins examines the way Morgan Parker’s new poetry collection Magical Negro weaves tales out of the past, present, and future of black life in America, while at The Paris Review, Hilton Als discusses the new David Zwirner exhibitionGod Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin. 

And ElectricLit gives us an interview with Hanif Abdurraqib about his new book Go Ahead In the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest and how writing about music helps him to articulate a better world than the mess out there today.  

And finally, a day before she turns 88, here is a compilation of the legendary Toni Morrison’s best advice on writing, including her own views on how writing enables her to impose order on the chaos of the world. 

Now let’s all get to work creating a better world with our words. God knows we need it.

Happy Black History Month. Happy early President’s Day?